Mon. Dec 11th, 2023
    A Tragic Incident Highlights the Need for Safer Industrial Robots

    A tragic incident in South Korea has once again shed light on the potential dangers of industrial robots. In a distribution center for agricultural produce in South Gyeongsang province, a worker in his 40s was fatally crushed by an industrial robot. This unfortunate event occurred when the man was inspecting a problem with the robot’s sensor. Mistaking him for a box of vegetables, the robotic arm suddenly grabbed him and thrust him against the conveyor belt, causing severe injuries to his face and chest. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the man tragically succumbed to his injuries.

    This incident, the second serious accident involving industrial robots in South Korea in recent months, highlights the urgent need for enhanced safety measures in the robotics industry. Dongseong Export Agricultural Complex, the owner of the facility where the accident occurred, has called for the establishment of a “precise and safe” system to prevent such accidents from happening in the future.

    Industrial robots have been utilized for decades to carry out repetitive and potentially hazardous tasks, from assembly lines to sorting goods. However, as their use becomes more widespread, ensuring the safety of human workers is paramount. A study published by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine revealed that between 1992 and 2017, 41 fatalities occurred in the US due to industrial robot accidents.

    The majority of these fatalities, approximately 83 percent, were caused by stationary robots, with the remainder involving mobile ones. Surprisingly, almost four out of five accidents occurred during routine robot maintenance, rather than during operational tasks. This highlights the crucial need for improved safety protocols during maintenance procedures.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

    Q: Are industrial robots commonly used?
    A: Yes, industrial robots have been used for decades to carry out routine tasks in various industries.

    Q: What was the cause of the accident in South Korea?
    A: The accident occurred when the robot’s sensor mistook the worker for a box of vegetables.

    Q: Has this incident prompted any safety measures?
    A: The owner of the facility has called for the establishment of a precise and safe system to prevent similar accidents in the future.

    Q: How common are industrial robot accidents?
    A: According to a study, 41 fatalities occurred in the US between 1992 and 2017 due to industrial robot accidents.

    Q: When do most accidents occur?
    A: Most accidents occur during routine maintenance of the robots rather than during operational tasks.